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Old 02-06-2012, 12:29 PM   #1
markgsnw OP
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how un-waterproof?

I'm still rolling a Garmin 2720, but it's starting to get cranky (doesn't want to boot up sometimes), the display fogs up badly, maps are out of date and I'm not going to give Garmin another $80 for newer maps.


I only use the GPS on the bike when we're on our yearly trip, for a car GPS I use my iPhone. For a number of reasons, I don't think using the iPhone for motorcycle GPS will work for me.



As money is very tight right now, I'm considering an inexpensive unit, like one of the swarm of Nuvi's. I understand that they are not waterproof, but I'm trying to get an idea of exactly what that means. I know, throw a plastic bag over it. How much rain causes how much damage? Will the unit just get fogged up and need to dry out, or are we talking sparks, smoke, and shrapnel? Something in between, I assume.


has anyone actually gotten a Nuvi (or similar) wet, and what happens?
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
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Good question. I use a Garmin Nuvi with a zip-lock bag, but have never been in a downpour yet. Hoping to hear some responses on this one.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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Good question. I use a Garmin Nuvi with a zip-lock bag, but have never been in a downpour yet. Hoping to hear some responses on this one.
any problems with overheating in the bag?
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:49 PM   #4
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Can't really say. Never been covered long enough.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgsnw View Post
any problems with overheating in the bag?
If it's raining, then I don't think you will ever need to worry about overheating.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgsnw View Post
I only use the GPS on the bike when we're on our yearly trip, for a car GPS I use my iPhone. For a number of reasons, I don't think using the iPhone for motorcycle GPS will work for me.
Why? Seems like this would fit your "money is very tight right now" restriction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markgsnw View Post
I understand that they are not waterproof, but I'm trying to get an idea of exactly what that means. I know, throw a plastic bag over it. How much rain causes how much damage? Will the unit just get fogged up and need to dry out, or are we talking sparks, smoke, and shrapnel? Something in between, I assume.


has anyone actually gotten a Nuvi (or similar) wet, and what happens?
It depends on the device, but generally water can cause three problems:

* screens can fog up... I'm pretty sure this will dry out without leaving any damage behind.
* electronics can short circuit... if that happens, it will die. No sparks/smoke/shrapnel because we're talking about small amounts of power. But it will kill the device, or leave it partially functional.
* electrical contacts (for batteries, etc) can get corroded. If it's not too bad, letting it dry out and maybe cleaning it can help fix this.

I've had my iPhone very wet a few times, in a mount that provides a little bit of protection (not much), with a windscreen that keeps light rain off when I'm moving but is inadequate when riding slow or in really heavy rain... let alone when riding really slow in really heavy rain.

My experience with the iPhone, is the thing is mostly water tight (talking about the iPhone 4 and 4S here, earlier models aren't as good). Only a few places will let water into the device (microphones, etc) and so far I've only heard water damage when they're fully submerged in liquid, and even then only when it's a fair amount of time (a quick dip in my buddy's cup of hot coffee didn't leave any damage). I know someone else who dropped it in his pool... it was kind a working, but he had random glitches for a few weeks before taking it to be repaired. The repairs only cost $60, and as far as I know it was working prefect after that.

When the screen is wet, and my thin leather gloves are soaked (think 6 hours of riding in the rain) it can be frustrating to use the touchscreen. All the water confuses the heck out of it, and I have to touch the screen several times before it will register.

My cheap phone chargers have needed replacing a few times, but the phone has survived just fine. However the charger is mounted near the radiator, and gets a lot of spray off the front wheel.

I'd look into how much it costs to repair a water damaged Nuvi, and also look into "accidental damage" insurance. And then just go out and do it. Try to mount it behind a windshield if you can, and if you stop the bike in the rain (traffic light, or in a carpark, or whatever) protect it a bit from the rain with your glove. It should be fine, and if it is damaged should be cheap to repair.

If any electronic device does get water in it and stop working... remove the batteries (if possible), and then leave it to dry turned off for *several days* if you can. If it doesn't come good after that, take it in for repair.

Electrical tape might be a good idea over anything like a headphone plug. In my experience, zip lock bags work for as short time but will eventually fog up and then the inside of the bag will get really humid (I think light rain directly on the device is better than high humidity). I think condoms (wash lube off!) are a better idea than glad bags, but glad bags are easier and tougher.

I have a quick release mount that lets me take my iPhone off the handlebars and place it in my tank bag without even pulling over. If it's raining lightly, I leave it out. If the rain gets heavy I'll put it in the bag unless I actually need the GPS (following directions through an unfamiliar city, etc). If I need the GPS then I'll risk even the tropical monsoon rain we get here in australia, without a glad bag, and so far it's worked out fine for me (I may just be lucky!! try this at your own risk).
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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Nuvi not waterproof?

It is so far...
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #8
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Nuvi not waterproof?

It is so far...
Nuvi 500/550 are IPX7 waterproof.

If it's another Nuvi - you are just lucky - or haven't gotten it very wet.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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Ah. It's a 500, wasn't aware the old ones weren't.

I've been going through manuals and burning up google for the last half-hour- "yep, says so here.... here too... wtf?..."
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:12 AM   #10
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I've gotten my nuvi 1300 wet a few times. Perhaps I'm just lucky.

In all-day rains I use the plastic bag. I bring the nuvi with me when I leave the bike out of sight, so after a snack break, lunch break, and a few bathroom breaks there's enough moisture inside the plastic bag to fog it up. I don't ride the kinds of places that heat would be a problem.

I've also been riding along in fine weather and been hit by small strong downpours where I haven't covered the nuvi. These are the kind of storms where my leather gloves get entirely saturated in a minute the rain stops after a second minute, and five minutes later my gloves are pretty dry. Repeat a half-hour later. The nuvi has survived these with no sign of problems yet.

I don't actually like my nuvi 1300 that much, so I'm going to continue to use it this way until it dies.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:22 AM   #11
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I've gotten my nuvi 1300 wet a few times. Perhaps I'm just lucky.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:18 AM   #12
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bacca

I've been using an old reconditioned Garmin C580 Street Pilot for the past four years. I do dual sport and street. The Garmin has been on the Trans Am Trail from Tn to Utah. In 2009 it went from Ky to Washington state and down 395 to Barstow and then back to Ky. In 2010 it went from Ky to the Artic Circle. Had some rain 16 of 26 days on this trip. I cover it with a zip lock bag when it rains and leave it partial open at the bottom to prevent fogging. The internal battery died 2 yrs ago so I have to keep it plugged in all the time but still works fine. The SD card players still works well too. I've had to towel it off a couple of times until I could pull over and cover it but it's never been drenched. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:20 AM   #13
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I guess there's nothing wrong with using a cheap non-waterproof Nuvi. I'm sure they will take more moisture than one would think. You just have to be prepared to toss it if it does fail.

I have a very old Valentine 1 radar detector that isn't waterproof. I now pretty much just leave it on my ST1100 even if it rains. It sits behind the windshield so doesn't get much direct spray. I did kill off an older radar detector with moisture, but I had compromised the case by installing a headphone jack.

I got my refurb Nuvi 500 for only 150 bucks. For the extra 50 or so over a non-waterproof one it was worth it to me.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 AM   #14
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I too have been researching a GPS upgrade as my old Quest is starting to get cranky with age.
I recently purchased a Nuvi 1450 with lifetime maps and traffic for around $119 on a black Friday sale.

Doing the math, I could buy several of these for the price of a single Zumo. If mine gets wet and quits working, I could stop in a Best Buy and pay full retail for a replacement and still be several hundred $$ ahead. Heck, for that price difference I could buy a new 1450 and take a trip to the dragon.

I don't understand why any anyone would buy a zumo.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:17 PM   #15
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I too have been researching a GPS upgrade as my old Quest is starting to get cranky with age.
I recently purchased a Nuvi 1450 with lifetime maps and traffic for around $119 on a black Friday sale.

Doing the math, I could buy several of these for the price of a single Zumo. If mine gets wet and quits working, I could stop in a Best Buy and pay full retail for a replacement and still be several hundred $$ ahead. Heck, for that price difference I could buy a new 1450 and take a trip to the dragon.

I don't understand why any anyone would buy a zumo.
For anyone wanting to use a zumo 660 or 665 on the new BMW's K1600 Gt/GTL they'll drop right down in the dash mount. Other than that, I guess the Zumo has it's place on motorcycles whose owners have plenty of money. The 665 has XM radio and both can be used in a car.

Me personally, I'm thinking about a Nuvi 550. They're mostly waterproof and provide decent directions and features. They supposedly will also take a little more abuse than other Nuvi models due to being "motorcycle friendly". Some folks go for the Zumo 220 which is I guess, a Nuvi on steroids.
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